There is no authoritative national ranking for programs in digital media design for learning, games for learning or in educational communication and technology. Furthermore, games for learning as a master's program is still novel, with NYU creating one of the first in the country. While some foreign universities and some American magazines do try to rank programs in education, or in educational technology, these rankings usually focus on programs unlike ours.
College level rankings do not adequately differentiate high- and low-quality programs within those universities. The Steinhardt School within NYU is unique in that it incorporates not only education, but also culture and human development. We have preeminent programs in the fine arts, psychology, and media studies, just to name a few. Our school is not directly comparable to colleges or schools of education alone.
Educational technology programs in the US generally fall into several categories. Some are focused primarily on training primary and secondary teachers in the use of technology in the classroom; others are focused primarily on researching technologies in primary, secondary, or post-secondary education; others still focus on the design of instructional materials from textbooks to websites. We do all of those things, but none is our primary focus. Our program emphasizes both world-class design, and world-class research, in all learning settings, including not only formal educational settings like schools and libraries, but also informal education, including for instance contexts like public health, entertainment and videogames, and international development. We draw on the traditions of media design, game design, instructional design, cognitive science, and the learning sciences. We believe the programs most similar to ours are those at the Educational Communications and Technology program at University of Wisconsin, the Learning, Design and Technology/Learning Sciences and Technology Design programs at Stanford University, and the MIT Media Lab, but each of these programs has important differences from ours. Most published rankings will be meaningless if they compare our program to those with very different goals and structures. To see the worth of our program, look at the outcomes for our alumni.